Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

"The Surprisingly Lexical Behavior of Lexical Episodes"

Fri, March 22, 2013 | SEA 4.244 (Library/Auditorium)

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Cognitive Systems Seminar

"The Surprisingly Lexical Behavior of Lexical Episodes"
Presented by
Stephen D. Goldinger, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Arizona State University
3:00  PM
SEA 4.244
For years, it has been known that human memory has massive capacity to retain detailed traces of visual objects (e.g., Shepard, 1967; Standing et al., 1970), findings that have recently been extended (Brady et al., 2008).  Such results led to the development of powerful exemplar models in the visual domain (e.g., Shi, Griffiths, Feldman & Sanborn, 2010).  Similar models have been suggested in the auditory domain (e.g., Goldinger, 1998; Johnson, 2007; Walsh et al., 2010), proposing that lexical access can often proceed by memory-based classification, rather than segment-based signal analysis.  Although exemplar models are powerful, they are often considered poor candidates in our quest to understand language use, due to a combination of implausible assumptions and hypothetical dissociations between neural systems for episodic memory and language.

In this talk – after a brief overview of my research interests – I will emphasize that both perception and memory for spoken words show hallmark findings of exemplar processing (e.g., Shepard’s Law, relating generalization to distance in psychological space; Shepard, 1987).  I will review new findings showing that “truly lexical” processing can be driven by recent memorial episodes.  For example, recently heard words affect eye-movements very early in perception (despite claims about late-arising episodic effects; McLennan & Luce, 2005).  Moreover, degrees of spontaneous imitation of spoken words are powerfully affected by changing the encoding demands during word perception in the visual world paradigm, showing deep connections between attention, memory, and speech production.  Finally, voice-specific neighborhood effects suggest an interplay of segmental knowledge with episodic traces.  I will close by suggesting that exemplar-based views of lexical access are entirely compatible with segmental representations; a persistent false dichotomy that has hindered understanding of the episodic approach.

Sponsored by: Cognitive Systems Area

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